Initial Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations

January 16, 2015 - Leave a Response

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Hard to believe it’s that time again already, but somehow another year has gone by and I’m still no further in getting my shit together and sorting my life out… BUT ANYWAY, it’s Oscar noms time! Time for internet arguments and general feelings of an underwhelming nature (but also a time of very high-quality torrents…shh)

After getting over the amusement of the ‘Dick Poop’ incident (I’m rooting for you, man), I’m ready to mull over this year’s batch of hopefuls and dish out my initial thoughts.

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Most Anticipated Films of 2015

January 2, 2015 - Leave a Response

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It’s a brand new year, and that means a brand new batch of films to get unreasonably excited about. Take a look at my most anticipated films to hit the screens in 2015.

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Top 10 Films of 2014

December 31, 2014 - Leave a Response

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With the new year rolling in in just a few hours, it’s time for a little look back on 2014’s cinematic delights. Here are my favourites.

(Always difficult to decide whether to stick to UK release dates, or to include some festival picks. Having seen so many great films at tests this year, I couldn’t resist.)

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SSIFF Review: Wild Tales (2014)

October 19, 2014 - Leave a Response

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If ever there was a film more worthy of its title, I’m not aware of it. Where else could you possibly find murderous cooks, adulterous weddings and men defecating on car windscreens? Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales, that’s where, and it’s every bit as mental as you’d expect. Individual short stories make up the Argetine director’s latest film; snapshots of some truly bizarre lives and events, all pieced together to create the most hilariously thrilling cinematic experience you could ever imagine.

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SSIFF Review: Magical Girl (2014)

October 11, 2014 - Leave a Response

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The study of what drives people to commit extreme acts has always been an interesting subject. Weave it into a dark and alluring psychological thriller, and it becomes downright fascinating. Do our personal circumstances affect just how far we can push the boundaries of morality? That’s exactly what Magical Girl aims to explore, and its findings will leave you as rip-roaringly entertained as they will utterly unnerved.

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SSIFF Review: The Mother of the Lamb (2014)

October 10, 2014 - Leave a Response

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Rebellion is something most commonly associated with teenagers, not ladies nearing fifty. There’s something about the idea of a middle-aged woman pushing against the constraints of her elderly mother that’s oddly compelling, and clearly Chilean directors Rosario Espinosa and Enrique Farías thought so too, because that’s exactly what The Mother of the Lamb is about. It’s a film that explores family ties and suggests that it’s never too late to assert your independence – but at what cost?

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SSIFF Review: Eden (2014)

October 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

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Feel like partying across the globe (and across the decades) but don’t want to move a muscle? Fear not, because the experience comes fully packaged in the form of Eden, an eclectic EDM drama that explores life’s ups and downs in the most sensory way imaginable – and it’s definitely a ride you’re going to want to take.

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SSIFF Review: Casanova Variations (2014)

October 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

Casanova Variations (Film picture)

It was said that at this year’s festival, the most requested interviewee was not a huge Spanish star, nor was it the head of the jury. It wasn’t even Benicio Del Toro. Instead, San Sebastian’s most wanted man in 2014 was John Malkovich. They do say that life imitates art, so after watching Casanova Variations this seems only fitting – the Malkovich in the film, both as the title character and as himself, is also very much in demand. But it’s not journalists who are after him, it’s women… lots of them. Indeed, so much time is dedicated to ‘wanting’ Mr Malkovich that director Michael Sturminger may just have forgotten what exactly he wanted to do with his film, or who it’s for – because as an audience, we’re left bemused.

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SSIFF Review: Not All Is Vigil (2014)

October 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

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The inevitability of growing old is undoubtedly a fear that’s rooted within all of us. Losing your physical capabilities and your youthful good looks, loneliness, boredom – the list of worries is seemingly endless. At least, that’s what it feels like in Hermes Paralluelo’s stark debut feature Not All Is Vigil, a film that tackles all of the above in such detail that it has its audience experiencing the aging process too, each relentless minute feeling like a year.

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SSIFF Review: Silent Heart (2014)

October 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

Silent Heart

Right from the outset, and as suggested by the title, the general ambiance given off by Bille August’s latest film is that of great tranquility. The opening wide lens shots of the beautiful Danish countryside set against a melodic score results in a calming and incredibly atmospheric introduction. It’s therefore surprising that Silent Heart is essentially a movie about imminent death, about the loss of a woman’s life and her family’s inability to do anything about it – other than wait.

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